What to Look For in the Best Winter Sweater

SANVT Journal

Winters can be gloomy, to the point where they might demotivate you from getting out of the house. Now there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to spend time hibernating, especially if you haven’t seen the sun in days or weeks. Whether you’re spending your winter all cosy inside or you want to be motivated to raise your energy levels, the clothing you wear can have a big impact on your mood. Studies show that if we feel good in what we’re wearing, we’re more confident and feel better.

With that in mind, let’s jump into what makes the best winter sweater. So you look and feel great. There are some key characteristics to look at here:

Characteristics of the best winter sweater

  • Made from a thick material, for warmth, but also breathable
  • Ideally made from a natural fabric
  • Strong, durable, and high quality
  • Neutral colours, for a timeless style
  • Sustainably and ethically produced


  • Recycled wool
  • Recycled fleece
  • Hemp
  • Heayweight cotton

It’s no surprise that the ideal fabric should be thick, soft, and warm. Psychologists say that if you’re wearing soft, comfortable garments, you’re more likely to be in a positive mood. But you also want it to be a natural fabric, because polyester and other synthetic fabrics aren’t as efficient at making a garment breathable - especially when you’re busy layering up. An all-time favourite fabric for winter is wool. But animal cruelty is common within the wool industry so an ideal alternative is a sweater made from recycled wool. That way, we’re making use of what’s already on this planet and what would otherwise go to waste. And we’re not contributing to the demand for new wool.

Another animal-friendly alternative that’s been popular since the 80s and is typically cheaper, is fleece. Warmth and comfort are woven into fleece. However, fleece is made from polyester and so for the best winter sweater, we recommend recycled fleece - while remembering to wash your fleece clothing as little as possible to avoid microplastics flushing into the oceans. And when you do need to, use laundry bags.

A natural fabric that you won’t need to buy a recycled version of is hemp. Hemp has great insulation properties, which means it’ll keep you warm. It’s also a durable fabric, almost four times stronger than organic cotton. Speaking of which, cotton is also a natural and breathable fabric that’s great for any season but a minor drawback is it’s not as warm and soft as you might like it to be for the winter. That said, a heavyweight cotton garment of 400 GSM can be warming enough for the cold season. It’s best to check the GSM on the label with cotton, which is a measure of how thick the fabric is.


Of course, there are probably a million different sweater styles but we’re narrowing it down to a top few that we feel are the best picks. These styles can be dressed up or down, and each of them can branch out into different styles still.

  • Oversized
  • Turtleneck
  • Cropped cardigan
  • Half-zip or quarter-zip

The oversized sweater is a classic. They’ve been worn since around the 1920s and whether or not they’re considered in-trend, as they are now, they are undeniably comfortable. And no one will know how many inelegant layers you have underneath it and how warm you actually are.

The turtleneck is not for everyone. But it does give a classy look, and sometimes you just need your neck to be warm. Sorry, not sorry. Throw a necklace or two over it and it already looks chic. Plus, turtleneck sweaters can be varied up by “cropping it” and there are various ways to do that without buying a cropped sweater or cutting it.

The cropped cardigan is less easy to layer but a versatile look that can be worn casually or a bit more formally. The half-zip or quarter-zip styles are on the other hand easy to layer underneath and give that same oversized feel we love.

Sustainability & ethics

  • Recycled materials
  • Made to last
  • Low or zero waste
  • Circular
  • No workers or nature harmed

A garment can’t be the best of its kind without thinking about the environment and the workers that produced it. Not in today’s world. We already emphasised using recycled materials where the virgin counterparts would be harmful to animals or the environment.

Another point is buying a high-quality garment that is made from strong and durable materials, and was made to last. Typically, fast fashion brands create clothing that will deteriorate after only being worn a few times. But the best winter sweaters will last you years, keeping you warm every winter. Don’t worry about getting tired of calling on your timeless garment again and again, there are many ways to style yourself up creatively.

The best winter sweater will have at least incorporated a few ways of sustainable production. Essentially, the garment should be made with its lifecycle in mind.

Sweaters at SANVT

Here at SANVT, we sell two of the best winter sweaters. They’re both unisex, and made in the same way - but in two different styles. Our essential sweater and our roll-neck sweater. Why are they two of the best on the market at the moment?

  • 100% recycled materials (GRS certified): 30% wool, 30% viscose, 5% cashmere, and 35% polyamide.
  • Soft, warm, and breathable.
  • Zero waste.
  • Handmade in Portugal.
  • Climate neutral, with tracking available through the label’s QR code.
  • Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certification ensures social and ecological responsibility.

And if you’d rather go for cotton, then also take a look at our heavyweight cotton sweatshirt. Its 400 GSM fabric will also keep you comfortable in the winter or cold weather!

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